Tens of thousands of people network for business on a weekly basis. Most people end up with a pocket full of business cards and no serious leads. Many even enter those people into their contact management system and a few actually send emails–knowing full well that it wasn’t a good connection but hoping that the new connection may know someone who might be a good connection. You probably noticed the “hopes” and the “mights” in that previous sentence. That is where Professional Networking is broken.
So, when we first started contemplating how Professional Networking could be improved we drew on our conference and tradeshow experiences. The major difference between a Conference and a local networking event is cost. Conference cost a lot due to airfare, hotel , car rental, perdiems and other costs which can easily add up to thousands of dollars versus a local networking event that may run you between $5 and $50.
Things that cost a lot money seem more important, things that seem more important are worthwhile investing time in to prepare and get the most out of the experience. So the quick fix, charge a lot for a local networking event. Yeah, no. That won’t work.
The real solution is about treating a local networking event more like one treats a conference or tradeshow. Preparation, research and reaching out ahead of time. Sounds like a lot of work right? So that’s where we thought, “How do we automate the process?”
We’ll address that in our next post!